What if WWE had decided to have Kane beat Undertaker in their first WrestleMania match? I'm writing this as I watch "Undertaker: The Streak" on Netflix, and it sounds like they didn't start making a big deal about Taker being undefeated at WM until the Sid match in '97. And I'm assuming they didn't draw up a plan in '91 to have Taker go undefeated at WM for two decades. So if Taker had lost to Kane (which would've made sense booking-wise), there's no easy/obvious excuse today to bring him back for every WrestleMania once he was no longer a full-timer. Where would they have taken his character without the storyline crutch of The Streak? Might Taker have been retired by now?
He would have done a shit-ton more jobs to HHH at Wrestlemania, I can guarantee you that. But I think, yeah, without the yearly carrot of the Streak, he wouldn't bother coming back any more. Really he makes his whole year of income off the one match anyway and he has no incentive to continue at this point.
I wonder if there's any young buck on the current roster that's undefeated at Mania? If they're young enough they can start building from now until they match Taker's streak in 20 or so years and then the storyline 20 years from now can be 'can Tyson Kidd/whoever surpass the Taker's streak?'ReplyDelete
Alternatively, I've always said IF anyone beats the Undertaker's streak at Mania, that person should inherit the Dead Man gimmick.
I agree with Scott's answer. He wouldn't have as much value at WM without the streak. So depending on his financial situation, he'd either be a part timer like Jericho or retired by now.ReplyDelete
Miz and RVD are both undefeated, though both have lost in the preshow. The Shield and Fandango won their WM debuts.ReplyDelete
David Otunga is also undefeatedReplyDelete
I always felt they really fucked up putting Edge in the 23 MITB match. He was undefeated at that point, and the next year he fought Undertaker and THAT could have been streak v. streak.ReplyDelete
Agreed. That was a really dumb move. Edge proceeded to lose at 4 straight ManiasReplyDelete
Hmm all too old I think, except for Rollins maybe?ReplyDelete
WWE would have deleted any video of this occurring while rewriting the entire Internet to a UT WM victory. UT would still be "undefeated" and we'd be exactly where we are today.ReplyDelete
Taker Edge was great too. Totally surprisingly fantastic!ReplyDelete
I don't remember it being a big thing until tthe Orton match, as far as someone wanting to end the Streak. The first time I thought beating him made sense was HHH at wm17, oddly enough. Although its obviously for the best that they haven't beaten him, the Batista match could have made sense too.ReplyDelete
Maybe Roman Reigns, if they plan on making him a playerReplyDelete
Taker's only value is in that streak and its been that way for years. No one has been booked strongerReplyDelete
Yeah, I was going to say that. They mentioned him beating undefeated during the Flair match (just one of those JR facts, like where they went to school and if they played football) but it didn't become part of the storyline until the Orton match - that was the first "I'm out to break the streak" match.ReplyDelete
the 1st time he streak became important was tangentially at x8, when taker one by one held up 10 fingers after beating flairReplyDelete
lots of memories from that angle: bloodying david flair in the bathroom, arn's surprise spinebuster which popped everyone huge
How many times has the streak came close to ending? For some reason I thought Kane was supposed to go over at WM14 until the last minute, and there was rumors Mark Henry was scheduled to go over at WM21. And wasn't the rumor that Shawn was supposed to return and cost Undertaker the match against HHH at WMX7 before he showed up drugged out of his mind and it was changed to just Undertaker going over clean?ReplyDelete
There were only two times where I truly thought the streak was in jeopardy: the matches against Flair (where it made sense for Ric to get revenge) and Orton (where I thought UT would put over the Legend Killer gimmick). All the other matches seemed like foregone conclusions.ReplyDelete
I remember that Spine Buster fondly!ReplyDelete
Yeah I think Orton got hurt right before his match with Taker so they changed the finish if I remember right.ReplyDelete
I thought Taker volunteered to lose to Angle at 18.ReplyDelete
I was pretty sold on him losing the first HHH match as it was the height of HHH's political games and godpush.ReplyDelete
It's probably the best example of success coming completely out of luck. I genuinely think that the WWE will never be overtaken as the #1 wrestling company in the world thanks to the enormity now of WM, and one of the reasons the show feels so enormous was them falling ass backwards around the early 00s into realising UT's was undefeated.ReplyDelete
His streaks had almost perfect chapter progressions too with only three or four kind of aimless/meaningless ones:
VII-VIII - Legend Killer
IX-XIV - Giant Killer
XV - Big Bossman
XVII-XVIII - First acknowledgment of Streak
XIX-XX - Nothin' happenin
XXI-XXIV - "I'm gonna break the streak": Streak vs. X = Profit
XXV-XXVIII - "I'm gonna break the Streak Part II: Mutual appreciation society (plus fortunate byproduct of great matches)
XXIX - ??? - "I'm gonna break the streak" Part III: When Will It End?
Supposedly Orton was scheduled to go over in that one, with UT on board with it, but it was Orton himself who backed out. Going into it I expected Orton to win--the streak got play going into the match but it wasn't THE STREAK, either. That may have been the match that really jumpstarted it.ReplyDelete
Trivium: the first actual mention of the undefeated record at WM came all the way back at 11 (against Bundy). It was an "oh by the way" type thing, but it was mentioned.
It's a no-brainer that he'd be retired; he's retired now, he only wrestles one match a year. (Ooh, we got one bonus match in this year with his brother vs. The Shield, and some house show tune-ups.) I don't even remember them talking about the streak until Shawn Michaels I.ReplyDelete
I really thought that Snuka was going to beat Taker at WM VII. I mean here you have a WWF LEGEND who dove from the top of a steel cage TWICE, (we all forgot about his miss against Backland didn't we?) and was part of the main event from the first Wrestlemania, vs old Mean Mark who had been jobbing the the NWA less then a year ago.ReplyDelete
HBK would cost HHH the matchReplyDelete
He also fought Dean Ambrose on Smackdown, giving him the rub by making him submit to Hell's Gate.ReplyDelete
Aren't Edge, Christian and Randy Orton also undefeated at WM? And Shane McMahon? (He might not count since he's a Mcmahon)ReplyDelete
in the courtroom?ReplyDelete
Ambrose got the rub by simply being in the ring with Taker for a non-squash match. Yeah he tapped out but immediately afterwards Taker got beat down.ReplyDelete
Taker going back to his original gimmick at XX is a "Nothin' happenin"? Yeah no.ReplyDelete
If anyone I'd say Bray Wyatt, if only because I think his "Follow the Buzzards" catchphrase is a reference to Taker. WWE is gonna have to sign him to an ironclad 10 year contract though if he does end the streak.ReplyDelete
That spine buster is the marker by which all run ins should be judged.ReplyDelete
Arn just popped up from out of nowhere
It seems like The Streak didn't really become prominent until 17 and 18 with the Hunter and Flair matches. Even then it wasn't a huge deal because keep in mind they actually booked him in a tag math for 19, which would be unheard of now. It wasn't until 20 and 21 that it became a focal point. It was 21 especially with Orton running hot with the Legend Killer gimmick that people thought that Taker could actually lose at WM.ReplyDelete
I was thinking they'd try to stretch the streak out to 25-0, but I don't know if Taker has four more years left as a wrestler. At WM 31, he will have just turned 50 years old. I'd bet he'll end the streak there and retire soon after -- maybe getting a victory on a post-WM RAW if he wants to go out on top.ReplyDelete
Who's gonna end the streak? Kane would be a nice pick from a storyline perspective; plus he'll be knocking on 48 years old himself at WM 31, so maybe it'd be time to retire both characters together.
As far as "new blood" that Taker has never faced at WM, there's Rock, Brock or Cena. I could also see Punk, Orton or HHH getting the nod. Maaaaybe Big Show. There's the Sting rumor floating out there, though I doubt Vince would have a lifetime WCW guy be the one to beat Taker. And there are the old rivals who could maybe get in shape for one last match vs. Taker, like HBK, Stone Cold or Foley.
Edge and Orton lost to Undertaker at WM, and Orton lost a tag match at the last WM. Not sure about Christian.ReplyDelete
i think he miz is, and was the only reason he won the IC title on the preshow this year just to drop it right away.ReplyDelete
oh boy, i can't WAIT to be an old man watching wrestlemania as everyone's like "OMG who do u think can finally beat the miz".
Off the top of my head, Edge also lost to Jericho at WM. Christian lost to DDP.ReplyDelete
It was the desperation Hells Gate though. That move would legit choke someone out anyway. Normally I never defend the "jobbing to me will put you over" theory but Taker looked like he snuck one out there, so it helped Ambrose a little. Nothing that couldn't be undone by jobbing to the Usos and Christian, but still.ReplyDelete
Nope. Reigns just turned 28 recently and Ambrose turns 28 in December I think. Rollins is only a year younger. Ambrose scares the shit out of me because I'm a hint older than him and he's already half bald.ReplyDelete
Edge lost the year before, IIRC. They blew their shot at having a streak vs. streak match.ReplyDelete
If the Undertaker beats the cheap American beer out of Michael Cole at WrestleMania I'd have it written into my will that in order to get any money from my life insurance policy the next 3 generations of charismatic e-nergoes that come from my loins have to buy a WWE PPV.ReplyDelete
You sure? I'm pretty sure both Edge and Orton are undefeated....maybe even Daniel BrianReplyDelete
Yeah, that's how I remember it too. I wasn't paying any attention in 2006. Did it seem likely that Mark Henry had any chance at WM22?ReplyDelete
He changed clothes, man.ReplyDelete
Yes. I felt the same way. I figured beating Taker at WM was just a place-holder in lieu of Hunter main eventing with Rock & Austin that year.ReplyDelete
And his whole personality. Well, changed it back to what it once was.ReplyDelete
and after the Flair match Taker poses on the apron and holds up the 10 fingers in a cool looking shot they used a lot for 10 - 0ReplyDelete
I just turned 28 two weeks ago... I'm older than Ambrose? FUCKReplyDelete
The streak is one of the few valuable things left in wrestling. Without that they'd be at a serious loss.ReplyDelete
You're right and that was cool. Still, three matches on tv or ppv a year do not make one an active wrestler. It's like when somebody (Minnie Minoso I think) used to get a pinch hit every year to keep a streak of consecutive years with a base hit alive. It's hollow.ReplyDelete
There are a ton of cool Streak-related storylines that have yet to be done, and precious little time to try them given Taker's advancing age.ReplyDelete
* If RVD ever turned heel, he could brag about his "16-0" record at Wrestlemania (he's actually only 4-0 but has wins over 16 different opponents due to a lot of wins in multi-man matches), which would then lead to Undertaker beating Van Dam in a Streak vs. Streak bout at an upcoming Mania.
* on the 'streak vs. streak' angle, you could have Miz try a similar stunt, only to be destroyed at Mania. Or you could run a tournament on Raw of undefeated Mania guys (RVD, Miz, Fandango, Ambrose, Rollins, Reigns, and a few joke entries like Virgil or Cole) with the winner getting the right to face Taker at Mania.
* Undertaker has to take on a partner to face a team opponent like the Shield. This would be a great way of giving some of the Streak rub to a younger wrestler, and also creating a bit of 'could this guy be pinned and blow it for Undertaker?' tension
* Undertaker wins a world title at Mania, only to have the MITB holder try a post-match cash-in. The tension would be off the charts for that few minutes....before Taker caught the MITB guy with a Tombstone to eke out another win.